Oracle BI Cloud Service, Part V: Managing the Service


How Oracle BI Cloud Service is managed

Parts II, III and IV of our BICS series were dedicated to the basic functionalities of the service. In this post, the last one in the series, we will explain how the BI Cloud Service is managed.

As in the on-premise version of OBI, security of the BI cloud service is managed with users, roles and application roles. All the cloud services you buy will be assigned a unique identity domain that will allow you to manage what users and roles can access to which service associated with that identity domain. Application roles allow you to set permissions to users and roles within each cloud service.

You can manage users and roles from the My Services page of Oracle Cloud with the Identity Domain Administrator credentials.



Figure 1: Oracle Cloud My Services webpage

Application roles are managed from the BI Cloud Service Console with BI Service Administrator credentials.

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 Figure 2: Managing users and roles

From the Service Console you can easily add users, roles and application roles as members to one or multiple application roles, manage pre-defined application roles, and create your own application roles.


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Figure 3: Oracle BI Cloud Service - Service Console

A useful feature included in BI Cloud Service is Snapshot: you can capture with one click the state of the service at a point in time including data model, catalog and application roles (but not database elements which should be backed-up separately). You can then save the snapshot in the cloud (maximum 10 snapshots) or download it to a file system, and upload a saved snapshot to restore the service to a previous state. Each snapshot import is total in that it overwrites everything that was in the instance beforehand. Apart from backups, snapshots are useful for moving data from the pre-prod to the prod environment.

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Figure 4: Taking system snapshots

Other common administration tasks of OBIEE are also available in the BI Cloud Service, such as monitoring users currently signed in, analyze or test SQL queries, and monitor usage and other metrics.



The Oracle BI Cloud Service is a good option for small and medium companies looking for an easy-to-use BI framework with a fast deployment cycle and minimum capital and operating expenditures. The agility and availability of the system allows companies to start reporting against their business data in a couple of hours. We are still missing some features to consider it as an option for large projects, but it is still useful for any company requiring their BI contents to be available in the cloud and in any mobile device.

So what are your thoughts on the Oracle BI Cloud Service? Would you consider deploying your BI fully in the cloud using the service? Contact us at or using our web form if you would like more information about the Oracle BI Cloud Service, or leave your comments below!

ClearPeaks is expanding in the Middle East


ClearPeaks ExpansionWe are excited to announce the expansion of our Dubai office and the opening of a new office located in Abu Dhabi providing the level of presence needed to support the growing demand in the region.

We are a specialist Business Intelligence consulting firm providing BI services to customers in 15 vertical industries and across several countries in Europe and Middle East.

We have an exceptional record in implementations for several renowned Middle East based companies amongst which are GASCO, Eagle Hills, MAFP, Zain, ENEC and du.

Office No. 101, First Floor, Building A
Dubai Outsource Zone
Tel: +971 4 438 5011

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Hamdan Street
AYA Business Center
Tel: +971 2 508 9130

GASCO & ClearPeaks presented with Finalist Award at Oracle OpenWorld 2015


Openworld Logo White border Newç

GASCO & ClearPeaks are proud to have been presented a Finalist Award for “Big Data & Business Analytics” at the Oracle Excellence Awards for their successful deployment of a fully integrated, innovative and highly advanced Enterprise BI Platform.

Arguably the most advanced Oil & Gas Analytics environment in the Gulf region, the GASCO BI platform, delivered by ClearPeaks, extends the capabilities of Oracle BI ensuring optimal customer experience and user adoption, whilst leveraging the Oracle platform’s versatility and robustness.

The GASCO & ClearPeaks BI collaboration is proud to announce a user adoption of over 1000 active users across all departments and production sites, from C-level to site management and down to operational analysts, consuming more than 300 corporate reports and over 15 corporate BI dashboards daily. The entire enterprise is now enabled on one integrated platform.

Oracle Excellence AwardsBack in 2010 the picture was very different. GASCO was facing all the common challenges encountered in enterprises, that being the impossibility to enable management insight and reporting due to the lack of integration and consolidation of key business data and metrics. GASCO were working with a plethora of departmental and disconnected data sources, catering for very basic operational reporting, but making it impossible to drive decision making, data governance and to deploy commonly agreed business reporting rules. A further complication was that different technologies were being used across departments, adding to the user frustration of not having common and consistent standards and functionalities.

At this time, GASCO engaged ClearPeaks to embark on the journey of materialising their vision of a fully integrated, scalable enterprise-wide BI platform offering a single, reliable one-stop-shop for all GASCO reporting needs and deploying powerful, state-of-the-art visualizations to enhance user adoption with the following key objectives:

* Enabling a Business Insight across all divisions on a common platform
* Driving key management decision making
* Driving user adoption whilst reducing IT dependencies
* Addressing data quality, integration, governance & consolidation challenges
* Unifying diverse sources of information to optimize reporting performance

Core to materialising this vision, ClearPeaks set out to deploy a centralised data warehouse, integrating the complex array of data sources present at GASCO, harmonising master data and enabling cross-functional, enterprise-wide and strategic reporting.

Oracle BI Cloud Service, Part IV: Creating analyses, reports and dashboards


In Parts II and III of the BICS series, we covered how to upload data to the cloud and build the repository. In this post, we will be covering the basics of analyses, reports, and dashboards in the BI Cloud Service.

The OBI Cloud Service has almost the same report capabilities of OBIEE. You can create analyses combining different views and dashboards, limit the results using filters, prompt for values and create dynamic reports using named and inline actions just as you would do in the on-premise version of OBI.

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Figure 1: Creating reports, visualizations and dashboards
from the Oracle BI Cloud Service & Data Discovery Webinar
from Oracle Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG

All the results of analyses can be exported to the usual formats such as Excel or PDF, and you can also make use of variables: session, repository, presentation, request, and the recently added global variables are supported. There is the possibility to report against a mash-up of model data and external sources in the PROD environment.

A new presentation feature recently added to the BI Cloud Service (and that will be available in the on-premise version 12c of OBIEE) is Visual Analyzer, a web-based tool accessible from the BICS homepage that allows you to explore analytics data visually and on an individual basis in just a few clicks.

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Figure 2: Accessing the Visual Analyzer tool
from blog Sixty-Analytics

Visual Analyzer simplifies the process of finding the right information and creating rich and powerful visualizations with that data. You can search the entire repository for dimension and measure attributes and drag and drop them to build graphs and charts in a Tableau-type single pane, allowing you to find correlations, discover patterns, and see trends in your content.

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Figure 3: Creating reports in Visual Analyzer
from Oracle

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Figure 4: Creating compound visualizations in Visual Analyzer
from Oracle

On the downside, there are still some presentation services lacking in the cloud version of OBI. Scorecards, a useful view for KPIs in OBIEE, are still not supported in the cloud version. Agents, alerts and BI Publisher are also not presently supported, although we will probably see these services supported in future releases within the next 12 months.

Be sure to check out the last part of our BICS post series explaining how the service is managed and our overall conclusion.

Oracle BI Cloud Service Part III: Modeling Data


Data Modeler tool

In the last post of this BICS series, we reviewed how data can be loaded into the cloud. Once you have all your data loaded and ready, it is time to build the business model, or in other words, create the repository. For that purpose, a browser-based tool called Data Modeler is accessible from the home page of the BI Cloud Service.

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Figure 1: Accessing the Data Modeler tool
from Blog Sixty Analytics


Data Modeler is the equivalent to the Administration Tool of the on-premise OBI, although much simplified and with a reduced set of its capabilities, considering that the main premise of the cloud version of OBI is precisely that is should be simple and with a fast deployment cycle. Still, the Data Modeler tool allows you to build a repository from your source tables with all the basic features of OBIEE Admin Tool, and all from your web browser.

The application is divided into panes, with the left pane listing database objects, data model objects, variables, and users & roles, and the right pane listing in detail the fact tables, dimension tables, and joins in your data model.

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Figure 2: Data Modeler
From Blog Sixty Analytics


Since we are in a cloud environment, there has to be a way to ensure that multiple users can modify the model concurrently. Data Modeler uses a Lock & Edit system for this, so that users must lock the data model before making any changes to the model and database views (note that the lock only affects the Data Modeler tool and does not prevent other users from changing database views using other tools such as SQL Developer). Only one user at a time can have the lock, with the possibility to override locks and discard changes made by other users if you have administrative privileges.

After every change, the data model has to be validated (equivalent to a consistency check in OBIEE Admin Tool), and any validation error will appear at the bottom of the right pane. All the changes made to the model need to be published in order to to save them permanently and make them available to other users. There is the possibility to retain the lock after publishing the changes, discard the changes and release the lock, and discard the changes reverting to the previous published state.

Data should be refreshed frequently to ensure that it reflects the most up-to-date information. You can refresh the source objects, the data model, and synchronize with the database to automatically detect new columns, obsolete objects, and other discrepancies. It is advisable to clear the cache after loading new data as well, to ensure that the most recent data is displayed in analyses.

Data Modeler also offers users the possibility to create source views, i.e., saved data queries in the database. Source views are useful when using a single table as a source for more than one table, when creating a dimension table based on multiple source tables, and when performing pre-aggregation calculations. In general source views facilitate the handling of model objects and should be used as a base when subsequent changes in these objects might be needed.

You can partition a single source table into fact tables and dimension tables, or create fact and dimension tables from single source tables.


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Figure 3: Adding fact and dimension tables to the model
From the article:  Using Oracle BI Cloud Service

Joins are automatically created between fact and dimension tables if the join reference exists in the source tables, and of course you can create manually other joins in Data Modeler. Hierarchies and levels can be added to dimension tables joined to fact tables, and aggregation levels can be set for measures. As in OBIEE Admin Tool, you can make use of variables (static / dynamic repository variables and session variables supported). You can also secure the model, setting permissions to tables, columns, and even records using filters.

A recently added feature of Data Modeler is the possibility to upload a full repository to the cloud service, so if you had already modeled your business data with OBIEE you don’t need to start from scratch in the cloud. This also allows a single model to be used both on-premise and in the cloud. Something to bear in mind however is that repositories uploaded from on-premises OBIEE cannot be edited through the BICS Data Modeler, so changes should be done in OBIEE Admin Tool and then uploaded again (after the consistency check).

So once you have your data and repository in the cloud, you are ready to start reporting against it.

Check out our next post of the BICS series to learn about analyses, reports, and dashboards in the BI Cloud Service.


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